Automated Sales Funnels…yes or no?

Lead Generation Using Automated Sales Funnel

Content

What to know about sales funnels

Are you wondering if you should invest in building a sales funnels using fancy softwares with automated tools?

Are you seeing an abundance of offers coming from automated sales funnels?

Are you wondering what is a sales funnel?

Before exploring the different answers to these questions, let’s define what the sales funnel is.

Pure and simple a sales funnel is a model, a framework and a process where potential customers are captured and follow a sequence of precise steps and actions bringing them to buy your product. If you have been in sales for a while you know this already. You probably are using a CRM where you input data at every stage in the funnel of each prospect to ensure proper followups until completion of the sale or until a sale is lost.

Nowadays, we see an abundance of new tools to build automated sales funnels and deliver qualified leads to businesses, but does this work? Do you need one?

The question is not so easy to answer. In my opinion it all depends on what you are selling, on the nature of your products and services, your audience and your business model.

Many softwares exist to help you build a funnel, just to name a few: ClickFunnels, GetResponse, LeadFox and others. All these softwares offer the lead generation option, it all depends on the budget that is available and if you have a preference for the provenance of the software. LeadFox is available in french since it originates from Quebec, which can be a huge plus if your company is in Quebec or in a french speaking area. A simple search on Google and you will find plenty of solutions from all over the world.

Funnel Strategy

Let’s go back to the funnel concept and the basics of working with a funnel. Simply put, if you have been working in sales for a while you are used to the basics steps that drive to closing a deal:

  • Prospecting
  • Approach
  • Qualification
  • Presentation
  • Objection Handling
  • Closing
  • Retention
Sales Funnel Basic Steps

While your process might be slightly different you will end up making all these steps in one way or another in order to close a deal. All these steps are part of the funnel. Each step involves different players or decision makers depending on the company’s organization and size. If you are selling to small companies chances are that the owner might be the only player involved in each step. On the opposite if you are selling to big companies, different players will be part of each steps until all validations are rendered and a decision can be made.

Now, with digitalization, these organic steps can be taken to the next level and be done on automatic or semi-automatic depending on your products and services, hence the power of these tools. These software can generate leads 24/7.

Imagine how powerful that is!

But that is not all, take all the steps involved in the decision making and bring them into a software that does the selling for you with powerful copywriting. Tempting no?

Your answer is most probably yes. Unfortunately or luckily I have to introduce a big « BUT », these techniques and tools will work best if you already have a sales funnel concept and strategy that works organically. Otherwise, you will be spending huge amounts of money and still be in the discovery stage.

You might also spend a huge amount of money outsourcing your copywriting or doing it in-house even to later realize that it is not giving the expected results. Keep in mind: people like to buy from people, they are not robots and a lot of people don’t like to receive tons of sales emails each day. Flooding your prospect’s inbox with pushy emails is not a practice I consider to be great. Flooding someone’s inbox is never a good idea.

Giving great content is!

Giving your prospect a chance to get to know your product and understand what you do or how your services can solve a problem they have is a better approach. Yet again, a better approach when it is represented in the right way.

How do I know if an automated sales funnel will work for me

That is again a not so easy question to answer. Many other questions must be asked before reaching clear insights.

Questions like:

  • What kind of products are you selling?
  • Do you sell customized solutions?
  • How do your sales cycle and velocity look like?
  • At what stage is your company at?
  • Do you already have leads?
  • How did you get those leads?
  • What are the top 10 questions your clients frequently ask you?
  • Can these questions be answered through automated emails?
  • Can you anticipate your prospects needs through automated emails?
  • Can you put your offer in clear writing and convey the message clearly without real-time human involvement?

If any answer to these questions is no or takes many minutes to explain you might not be ready for an automated sales funnel just yet. If on the other hand, you are selling books, business agendas, one size fits all sweaters or any other offer with a short buying decision process, the automated funnel might work you.

Other use of sales funnels

Sales Funnel

Keep in mind that the sales funnels can be used to collect leads and not necessarily make your prospect go through the entire sales process without human involvement. You could perhaps, collect leads and book sales calls where you will qualify your prospect as a good or a bad fit for your product or business.

Typically, for this technique to work effectively, you need to send out a lead magnet on your medium of choice. Using paid ads or social media, you need to attract people and have them engage with your content. Asking them for an email in exchange for an ebook download or ask for their complete contact info is necessary in order to carry on with the discovery call.

Once on that call you will be able to talk with them and make sure they are a fit for your business. If after 15 minutes of chitchatting and asking questions it has become clear that the fit can’t exist you keep it moving onto the next call. If on the other hand the fit is there, you can start the closing steps to secure the deal. It might happen on the first time just like you might have to handle objections. Either way, you are closer to a deal than you were 15 minutes earlier.

In that perspective, having an automated sales funnel will have saved you the hunt for leads. That is the great advantage. Since it can come at a highly cost, only you can be the judge of how worthy the expense is.

« People do not buy goods and services, they buy relations, stories and magic. » – Seth Godin

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